Antique Japanese Sword Tanto Attributed to Uda Kunifusa with NBTHK Hozon Certificate
This blade is attributed to Uda Kunifusa (宇多国房) during the late Nanbokucho era-Oei era (late 14th-early 15th century), according to NBTHK, which authenticated this blade.
Uda (宇多) is the prestigious school that flourished during the Nanbokuchoto-mid Muromachi period(approx. 1334-1491). It was founded by Kunimitsu(国光) in the late Kamakura period. The school was located in Etchu province in Toyama prefecture today. Kunimitsu was originally from Yamato Uda Gun(大和宇多郡), located in Nara prefecture but moved to Etchu in the late Kamakura period(1299-1333) with his apprentices including the first-gen Kunifusa(国房), and Kunimune(国宗).
The first-gen Kunifusa is the son of Kunimitsu and played an essential role for the school to flourish after they moved to Etchu province. The sword maker’s name, Kunifusa, lasted a few generations, and we believe it is attributed to the later-gen Kunifusa.
Uda school was famous for producing practically designed blades, which were desirable during Nanbokucho- Muromachi period. Among other schools in the Hokuriku region (the northwestern part of Honshu), Uda school was the most prominent school.
When the Uda school flourished in the Nanbokucho period, Japan was tumultuous because the imperial court was split into two sides(south and north). There were so many conflicts, and many Samurai were deployed.
There are two categories in the work of Uda school. One is called Ko Uda(Old Uda), and the other is Uda. Ko Uda swords were forged from the late Kamakura period to the Nanbokucho period. Uda blades were forged during the Muromachi period. This blade is categorized as a Ko-Uda blade.
This blade is appraised as a Hozon Token(保存刀剣) issued by NBTHK(Nihon Bijutsu Touken Hozon Kyokai:日本美術刀剣保存協会). This authentication paper was only given to authentic Japanese swords, well preserved with artistic value.
* Please keep in mind that there are a couple of black rust on Mune ( Backbone of the blade). We will be happy to have these parts polished by a professional Japanese sword polisher without additional charge before shipping this sword to you.
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)：27 cm( 10.6 inches)
Curvature(Sori)：0 cm( 0 inches)
The crystalline structure which forms along the cutting edge of a blade as a result of the hardening process
visible steel surface pattern created by folding and hammering during forging process
Nakago：Nakago is the tang of the Japanese sword.
Japanese swordsmiths left the black rust on the tang because it prevents red rust while the tang is in its handle. And the discoloration of the tang was created over time, and it is a great indicator for a Japanese sword specialist to estimate when the sword was forged.
Koshirae: Koshirae is the mounting of the Japanese sword. There are several parts that consist of Koshirae such as Saya(Scabbard), Tsuka(Handle), Tsuba(Handguard).
Fuchi-Kashira：A pair of matching sword fittings that cover the upper and bottom parts of its sword hilt.
This Fuchi Kashira has a simple look; black lacquer is painted, and it has finished in a plain design. Thanks to the lacquer technique, it has glossy black color. You will find that this Fuchi Kashira matches well when it is put into the handle.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
This Menuki’s motif is probably a combination of seashells. It seems there are spiral shells and clams. In the Heian period, the Kaiawase (貝合わせ, a game that uses clams) became popular among aristocrats. Each clam matches only with its pair shell. Therefore, people consider that the clam pattern represents a happy marriage. It is said aristocracies once brought the kit of the Kaiawase as their trousseaux.
From another point of view, we could guess that the seashell motif has been familiar to Japanese people because of the geographical situation of Japan. Japan is an island, and several seas surround it. Therefore, the shipping industry is thriving, and seafood has been one of the essential food sources. From such a situation, we think that the seashell design was favored by many Japanese people, of course including Samurais.
Kozuka：Kozuka is a small knife stored in Kozuka Hitsu(groove of the sheath of the Japanese sword).
The Kogatana (小刀, small knife) is stored in the Kozuka. A rooster is depicted. It seems gold paint was applied to its edge and the rooster. The surface of this Kozuka is decorated with tiny dots: it was made by hitting the Nanako-Ji Tagane (魚子地鏨, chisel used for this technique). It makes delicate fish egg-shaped protrusions. It gives the decorativeness for the work.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK Hozon Certificate for the blade (No.3025228)
NBTHK, also known as Nihon Bijutsu Touken Hozon Kyokai (the Society for the Preservation of the Japan Art Sword), is one of the oldest Japanese sword appraising organizations in modern-day Japan. They authenticated the blade on Feb 25th in the third year of Reiwa (2021). They appraised it as Hozon Touken, the blade worth preserving for Japanese society. The purchaser will receive this original certificate as well. We can also translate what is written into English and make a PDF file for your record if you request.
Registration Number : Fukuoka 5877
The Board of Education in Fukuoka prefecture issued a registration paper for this sword . It is called Jyu Token Rui Torokusho(銃刀剣類登録証). Bunkacho(The Agency for Cultural Affairs) acknowledges a Japanese sword with this paper as a work of art.
The sword needs to be traditionally hand-forged and made of Tamahagane carbon steel to be registered in the system. With this paper, its owner in Japan can legally own an authentic Japanese sword. Based on this registration number, we will apply for its export permit.
This paper will need to be returned to the board of education when the sword is being shipped abroad, but you can receive a copy of it. An English translation of this registration paper is available on request.
Samurai Museum is located in Tokyo, Japan, exhibiting antique artifacts related to the Samurai history. Samurai Museum Shop is the place for those who are interested in Japanese culture and craftsmanship. We deal with antique Samurai swords/armor, traditional crafts made in Japan and so on.
【Japanese Sword& Export Process】
The Japanese swords we deal with are hand-forged edged swords made in Japan. It was made from the traditional carbon steel called TAMAHAGANE(玉鋼). Samurai Museum is familiar with the proper legal procedure for an antique/ authentic Japanese sword to be exported from Japan. We have sent more than 300 Japanese swords to amazing owners who appreciate its historical value.
Each Japanese sword is registered under the Agency for Cultural Affairs and the Board of Education in Japan.They issue a registration paper for each Japanese sword for its owner in Japan to legally possess it. The Japanese sword with its registration paper means it was traditionally hand-forged in Japan.
To legally export the sword from Japan to other countries, we will have to apply for its permit to the Agency for Cultural Affairs(Bunkacho) and return the original registration paper to the Board of Education. It normally takes around 2-4 weeks to receive this permit after submitting required documents. And we would like you to expect at least 1-1.5 months for your order to arrive at your given address after you ordered. For more detailed info, please click here.
It is allowed for residents in Japan to own authentic Japanese swords without a special license as long as they come with registration papers. Please feel free to contact us if you are a resident of Japan, whether temporarily or permanently. We will also assist you when you leave Japan and need to obtain the export permit.
We accept payment through Stripe (Credit card), PayPal, Apple Pay or ChromePay, all of which are secure payment methods. Also, you don’t need to make an account on Stripe for the checkout. If you prefer other payment method, please contact us. After confirming your payment, we will apply for an export permit. You may either pay in JPY, USD, AUD, CAD,EUR or GBP. The price is set in Japanese Yen. Prices in other currencies are automatically calculated based on the latest exchange rate.
* If the amount is above 1 million JPY, Stripe or wire transfer will be the only options for payment.
We have shipped authentic Japanese swords to the USA, Canada, Mexico, UK, Germany , France Hong Kong and Australia. If you don’t live in these countries and like to order, please contact us first before making a purchase. We offer Free International Shipping as long as we can send antique Japanese swords by either EMS or FedEx(Canada).
We normally ship by EMS(Express Mail Service) provided by Japan Post. When we receive an order from the Canada we will use FedEx instead as EMS temporarily stops shipping from Japan to those countries due to COVID-19.
We will send you a tracking number for your order as soon as we hand it to the post office/FedEx. We will put 100 % insurance on the shipping document without any extra charge. Based on the total amount, there might be a duty tax or other fee for you to pay, depending on the countries. We use package cushioning to protect the item and put it in a PVC pipe, which is one of the most secure packages because of its durability.
It will normally takes 5-14 days for the item to arrive at your given address after we dispatch it. Time of delivery is estimated as accurately as possible by the carrier but does not take into account any delays beyond our control such as by inclement weather, post office holiday seasons.
* If you live in Australia and like to purchase an authentic Japanese sword, please click here to know the detail.
*Please keep in mind that due to the spread of COVID-19, there might be delays in shipping. If you like to know the detail about shipping, please feel free to ask us.
【How to make sure the condition】
Please keep in mind that what you are going to purchase is an antique item. We uploaded high resolution photos for you to check its condition thoroughly. If you like to see more photos with different angles, please feel free to contact us. We will be happy to send them to you so that you can make informed decision. It is essential for us to know that you are happy with your choice of a sword. and we are prepared to use the best of our ability to serve you.
【The Art of Nihonto(Japanese Sword)】
Samurai’s history is a profound, eloquent legacy of ancient Japanese warriors in which millions of people worldwide are being fascinated. If you like to find out the art of Nihonto, please click here.
【A Guide to Japanese Sword Maintenance】
After acquiring an genuine Japanese sword, it is also important to know how to take good care of it. Here is the special video for you. Mr. Paul Martin, Japanese sword expert, shows you how to give proper maintenance to your sword. By mastering how to clean the Japanese sword, its aesthetic beauty will last forever.
When you purchase a Japanese sword from us, you can get a Free Japanese sword maintenance kit. It comes with four tools(Choji Oil, Uchiko Powder, Peg remover, Oil Applicator). By watching the video instruction above , you can enjoy learning how to maintain your Japanese sword while appreciating it.